AMSOIL Driver, Brad Lovell Sweeps Weekend and Speeds to PRO 2 Points Lead
“Yeah! It’s about time,” were the words from Brad Lovell after Round 5’s PRO 2 race in Crandon. After two full seasons and three rounds in 2017 without a win, Lovell finally got the monkey off his back, holding off a hard-charging Luke Johnson for 9 laps around the 1.75 mile track. At long last, the AMSOIL #44 had scored his first PRO 2 victory.
Lovell won the TORC Series PRO Light championship in 2012 in just his third season of short course racing. In 2015, he got the opportunity to move up to the PRO 2 class. Success was hard to come by for the team from Colorado Springs, and Lovell went two full seasons without a win in PRO 2. But the team kept at it. 2017 marks a new chapter and fresh track notebook for Brad Lovell, who had to convert his truck to comply with new engine and tire rules.
The season started with great promise in Round 1. Lovell jumped out to an early lead in Chicago and held off Luke Johnson until the final lap. Johnson got around Lovell briefly, but some contact sent Johnson onto two wheels and back a couple spots. Lovell went on to begin celebrating his apparent first win, only to find out moments later that a penalty for the last-lap incident had been enforced, costing him the win.
But the heartbreak could not keep Lovell down. Three rounds later, he grabbed the holeshot in Saturday and never looked back, leading wire-to-wire enroute to his long-awaited first PRO 2 victory. It appeared that the win opened the floodgates for Lovell, who went on to dominate the next day and coast to his first ever PRO 2 weekend sweep.
“I’ve got to give it to our team,” celebrated Lovell. “Everything feels so organized; I can focus on the driving. The balance of the truck is just incredible. I can put it where I want to put it, and the Cooper Tires are hooking up!”
Though it looked smooth on the track, Lovell was on edge behind the wheel.
“I was yelling at myself, I was taking a deep breath coming into Turn One every time… I lost contact with my spotter through most of [the race]. Right into Turn One something hit my headphones and they came out, so I was running as hard as I could the whole time and not really knowing what was going on… you’ve got to be able to run right on the edge and do it all day!”
Sweetening the deal for Brad Lovell is the points benefit of his outstanding weekend in Crandon. After five rounds of racing, Lovell has opened up an 18 point lead over second-place Mitch Dorr in the PRO 2 championship points race. But Luke Johnson, Eric Ruppel, and the rest of the PRO 2 field are hungry for wins as well. Can Lovell build on his recent success, or will someone knock him off the top spot in Rounds 7 & 8? Find out when the TORC Series returns to Bark River International Raceway July 15-16.
Andrew Pfluger is a longtime race fan and writer for the TORC Series. To offer feedback or make suggestions for future content, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.